COVID-19 Information for Patients Receiving Immunosuppressive Medication

Does immunosuppressive treatment increase the risk of contracting COVID-19 or the severity of the infection?

COVID-19 is a new strain of a common family of viruses (coronaviruses) and we are still learning how it works. Human coronaviruses are spread through contaminated droplets by coughing or sneezing, or by touching contaminated objects.

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COVID-19 is tested by taking a swab from inside your nose or mouth.

We do know that certain medications including azathioprine, mycophenolate mofetil/mycophenolic acid, ciclosporin, methotrexate (>20mg/week), and Janus kinase inhibitors can cause immunosuppression and therefore patients can be at greater risk of developing an infection including COVID-19 .Advice from overseas would suggest that patients on medications that suppress the immune system may be at higher risk of a more severe infection or complications from COVID-19 if they are infected. The extent of this risk is currently not known.

The risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 in Australia is low to moderate, however this may change in the future.

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